In my opinion....from my personal experiences.... | INFJ Forum

In my opinion....from my personal experiences....

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by slant, Aug 24, 2010.

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  1. slant

    slant amour-propre
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    There seems to be a common belief among people that the following are valid ways to propose an argument, fact, or anything remotely valid:

    In my opinion....[insert ridiculous fact here].

    On most occasions that the phrase 'in my opinion' is used, someone is giving you a point that has no validity whatsoever. They just want you to believe it because it is their opinion, and even though it has no proof, enough though there is no merit and no reason you should believe what they are saying, they somehow believe that if they state it is their opinion you will understand that it either

    A. Doesn't make sense

    or

    B. Must be true since the person thinks it, regardless of no evidence being provided to back the statement up.


    Here is another similar tactic:

    From my personal experiences....[insert a situation, advice, fact here].

    This is also another situation where an individual is deliberately taking the attention off of the facts and shifting it to their own personal beliefs to back up something.

    People seem to be under the misguided belief that personal experiences and individual thoughts are conclusive. Meaning, they can be given actual weight and merit regardless of there being no proof or not of them.

    Unfortunately, this doesn't work. Someone believing that gravity doesn't exist, no matter how hard they believe it and what their personal reasoning is for it, if they merely state 'from my personal experiences' or 'in my opinion', it proves nothing. Such statements should be taken lightly and with a grain of salt. Opinion is not evidence and it doesn't make things so. This is why it's so careful to look for opinion and treat it as such instead of taking such claims and statements as if they were to be true: they are not. No one can wish something true.

    We can apply these concepts to many things, especially controversial things such as Religion.

    There is no evidence to prove that there is no God; we've automatically discredited Atheism.

    There is no evidence to prove that there is a God; we've automatically discredited Theism.

    Now we are left at Agnosticism; there is no proof that there is or is not a God, therefore we cannot be sure of either concept until there is proof. We simply do not know, either way.


    There is another form of personal opinion that creates an invalid argument.

    "Being a [insert religion, sexuality, race, sex, etc. here] I believe [insert false belief]. That's because I am a [ repeat race, religion, etc. here]."

    This isn't valid, well, it is valid, but what it implies discredits the user. The user of the phrase is implying that if they were not whatever they claimed to be, they wouldn't believe it. This suggests that they don't believe in their idea simply because they believe in it, but because they are part of a grouping of people who believe it which forces them to agree with the idea. It is a bad, bad, bad way to approach a topic because you are admitting indirectly that you don't really believe what you are saying.

    Conclusion?

    All of these things are invalid and shouldn't be used if you're trying to make a point in a debate or discussion. They all contain flaws in logic. I've used them all before; I'm not claiming that they don't serve there purpose in everyday interaction.



    However, personal truths don't equate reality. Self belief doesn't make something true; only evidence makes it true, the only thing that are true are universal truths. One thing can't be true for one person that wouldn't be true for another person in the same situations under the same circumstances and conditions with the same abilities and the like. If something is true, it can be repeated and replicated.

    Even one time occurring events could be replicated with the same exact conditions, persons, etc. That proves that one time occurring events are true- they just might not be able to be replicated due to the complexity of the conditions and skills and things associated with them.

    Personal truths X Not X equal to facts.
     
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  2. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Thanks for the heads up.
     
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  3. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    17 is a great age...
    Keep this post somewhere and read it when you are 25, when you are 30, and so on
     
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  4. the

    the Si master race.
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    I will keep that in mind.

    I think your personal truth is your reality though. To comment on your example, I imagine people who dont believe in gravity probably have some kind of mental disability where either a) they replaced the word gravity with another word, still believing what goes up must come down, b) they believe they are floating and may suffer from some bizarre form of vertigo, c) something else.
     
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  5. Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    In my opinion your statements above are invalid. You give no defining proof and site no sources to support said ideas. It simply comes from your head and is presented as fact because it seems logical. You must know what you speak of without a doubt or it is all just hot air.

    As a college educated family man, my schooling and experience let me see the flaws that lie within your theory. Time will show you that that most things, including opinion and dogma, all have a place and are not always presented to you simply to sway your belief on something. Often it is only to reaffirm that belief to the presenter. They do not need your belief or concurrence to justify what they think.

    That is all...
     
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  6. freybell

    freybell Community Member

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    I was on a mock trial team in high school, and if we were "on the stand" as witnesses, and we couldn't remember the answer to a question, we were told to say "I believe" "in my opinion" "in my experience" etc. before making an answer up. It's a great way to be non-committal.

    So yes, these statements can be infuriating at times, but I don't think people always use them to present facts. If you say "in my opinion" you're using a disclaimer that says "the following is not a fact".... so if people ARE saying their opinions are facts, then... well... they're not very smart and you shouldn't give what they say much thought.
     
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  7. MindYourHead

    MindYourHead Courage doesn't always roar.

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    If I have experienced something, then I do indeed have facts.
    From my personal experiences, Bee stings do hurt.
    That is a fact.
    I may embellish the facts to make a point.
    "I got stung by a Bee on my hand, it hurt like hell and it swelled up to the size of a basketball!"
    That doesn't change the fact that it hurt even if the amount of swelling was not factual.

    It is also a way of saying, "This worked for me, but you may have different results."

    Besides, if you get a response starting with,
    "From my personal experiences" you or someone asked.
     
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    #7 MindYourHead, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  8. 88chaz88

    88chaz88 Back for a limited time only
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    "In my opinion" means what they are saying is their opinion. Not a fact.

    "From my personal experience" means just that and is normally used for advice.

    Either you talk to absolute morons or you're not really getting the context in what they're trying to get across.

    That's my opinion anyway. ;)
     
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  9. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    +1 to what Chaz said IMO means literally that theyre putting across something that is by definition an opinion and not a fact.
     
  10. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    When I preface a comment with "in my opinion," I'm either commenting on something that doesn't have an objective truth (e.g., level of entertainment value) or I'm stating an opinion that I acknowledge to be highly debatable, due to lack of available evidence.

    There are also times when I employ it as a sarcastic method of understatement, but those don't count.
     
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  11. OP
    slant

    slant amour-propre
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    Absolutism vs Relativism...-sigh-
     
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  12. deadred

    deadred Community Member

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    When someone says "in my opinion" to me, it at least tells me that whoever said it knows the subject may not be provable in the classical sense. Many things are black and white, and many things are not black and white. Look at belief systems. Why does anyone "believe" in anything? If our minds were "intended" to be totally objective, why do we have emotions? I'm not talking about being irrational, but purely about the subjective. We all understand concepts and emotions in different ways and contexts, based upon the differences in our personalities. Very interesting, Slant
     
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  13. MrWindUpBird

    MrWindUpBird Community Member

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    Not really. If you say, "in my opinion, the sky is red," that's relativistic because you're claiming something against what is objectively verifiable.
    But each person's own experiences are factual... "I went to New York and didn't like their pizza." That's not relative. I have actually been to New York, and I did not enjoy their pizza. Fact.

    To take this thread in a totally different direction, I think "in my opinion" and "in my experience" are most often used to weaken insults or wild statements, like "in my opinion, women shouldn't be able to vote" or "in my experiences, all black people are carjackers."

    ...but that's just my opinion. ;)
     
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  14. 88chaz88

    88chaz88 Back for a limited time only
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    Only the Sith think in absolutes.

    Oh shiiiiiii...
     
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  15. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Even the validity of the most objectively performed experiment, which has been reproduced by other people, remains a sum of personal experiences. Saying "in my opinion" at least shows some level of comprehension of that fact. That said, yes, common ground and medium for communication has to be sought which allows as much as possible for others to share the experience, so that they can just agree. A ton, if not all, of conflicts and arguments arise due to our inability to share the same experience.
     
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  16. Poetic Justice

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    I'd just like to affirm what most others are saying. You have this completely on it's head. If someone says "in my opinion ......" They are specifically informing you that it ISN'T fact. It's just opinion.

    It means they are aware of other ponts of view but are leaning towards a certain opinion.

    Some people consider their opinion fact. Thats not a problem with the phrases they may use. It's a problem with the belief system of the person.

    To sum up, nice idea but not quite right

    Oh, and I think you need to add a "in my opinion" to the beginning of your OP ;P
     
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  17. OP
    slant

    slant amour-propre
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    No, I disagree, with all of you.

    "in my opinion" "from my personal experiences" "being a -----, I believe..."

    are all forms of trying to make opinions shed a light of vadality when they are only individualistic experiences, which, by the way, are not universally applicable so cannot possibly make weight in any sort of discussion besides one that is simply swapping views that are invalid and false.

    Now, as has been mentioned, statements such as "I went to New York and didn't like their Pizza." Would be half valid. If you did go to New York, then, that's a fact.

    No one has touched up

    "Being a _____, I believe" yet. Anyone care to tackle that point?
     
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  18. 88chaz88

    88chaz88 Back for a limited time only
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact
     
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  19. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    In my opinion, Valkyrie was a good movie. I liked it. Some people were bothered by the lack of German accents, but I thought it was fine without them.

    Is my opinion, as a personal artistic preference, invalid? Well, it does not reflect any objective truth, granted. There is no objective measure of how entertaining a movie is, unless you are performing brain scans and hormone tests and then accounting for age, sex, body size, and so forth. But that doesn't mean my opinion does not add any weight to a discussion. It does, along with everyone else's. Why? Because Bryan Singer cares. Studios care. They want to please audiences, because happy audiences mean more revenue, and more revenue means more cash for future productions.
     
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  20. MindYourHead

    MindYourHead Courage doesn't always roar.

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    Slant,
    What would you use, or do use in place of "In my opinion", and "From my experiences".?
     
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